LINDENHURST - The Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club held its annual field day event outside of Babylon Town Hall in Lindenhurst Saturday afternoon.

For group president John Melfi, amateur radio, or ham radio, has been a passion since he was a child. He told News 12 that his father bought him his first radio when he was 8 years old.

Amateur radio operators can connect with others throughout the world using antennas and satellites, making new friends and acquaintances along the way. Perhaps amateur radio's most important function is its reliability during times of crisis. In fact, many of the club members here relayed information to authorities during Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

“You get cellphones, Internet…a fiber optic cable gets cut, you got nothing. Our stuff still works,” said Melfi.